Video Overview

Introduction

The iPad team took a page from the iPhone SE playbook and released what appears to be a throwback—an arguably under-specced tablet that takes aim at the education and enterprise markets. This iPad is supposedly reasonably priced and powerful enough for professionals—but will it also earn high marks for repairability? Join us and find out. It's teardown time!

Want to be the first to see inside the latest gadgets? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for the latest news from the repair world.

Update: For a full list of part compatibility between the iPad 5 and the iPad Air 1, refer to our compatibility testing blog post.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your iPad 5 Wi-Fi, use our service manual.

Image 1/2: Apple 3rd-generation 64-bit A9 processor, with embedded M9 motion coprocessor Image 2/2: 9.7-inch multi-touch Retina display with 2048 x 1536 resolution (264 ppi) and non-laminated digitizer
  • Rumor has it this iPad's packing something old, and something new. Maybe these specs can tell us how far this Apple landed from the tree:

    • Apple 3rd-generation 64-bit A9 processor, with embedded M9 motion coprocessor

    • 9.7-inch multi-touch Retina display with 2048 x 1536 resolution (264 ppi) and non-laminated digitizer

    • 32 GB or 128 GB of storage

    • 8-megapixel 1080p rear-facing iSight camera + 1.2-megapixel 720p front-facing FaceTime HD camera

    • 802.11a/​b/​g/​n/​ac MIMO Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2

    • Touch ID fingerprint sensor + 3-axis gyro + accelerometer + barometer + ambient light sensor

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Image 1/2: Bottom line, our X-pert friends at [http://www.creativeelectron.com|Creative Electron|new_window=true] in San Marcos hosted an iPad teardown for us, and did a little advance X-ray recon, too. Image 2/2: Yep. Looks like an original iPad Air in there.
  • We travel far and wide to get you the earliest teardown news possible—exotic timezones such as Australian Eastern Standard Time, and Japan Standard Time. And don't forget Pacific Standard Time, which in this case required six hours of driving... south...

  • Bottom line, our X-pert friends at Creative Electron in San Marcos hosted an iPad teardown for us, and did a little advance X-ray recon, too.

    • Yep. Looks like an original iPad Air in there.

    • It looks just like an iPad Air from the outside as well—but are looks deceiving?

My Ipad 5 is a day-old when the screen shattered. I was resting my arm on it. Are the Ipad 5 screens so brittle and fragile? The screen display had no support or whatsoever on the adjacent part of the front camera.

My Ipad5's casing is Urban Armor Gear.

Will they replace it, or are there instances that they will replace ir for free?

Paolo Suelto - Reply

Image 1/2: New Model number: A1822—check. Image 2/2: Stacked up against the Air 1, the 2017 model looks very similar. Key differences include:
  • Before getting started, we check the back just to make sure this isn't an old iPad masquerading around in a new box.

    • New Model number: A1822—check.

  • Stacked up against the Air 1, the 2017 model looks very similar. Key differences include:

    • The absence of a lock switch (if the Air 2 did it, you can too, iPad 5)

    • Microphone slots shrunk down to microphone holes (less chance of junk ingress?)

    • Single row of speaker holes (more holes = more luxury?)

  • And in case you're wondering, the headphone jack did survive.

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  • It's time to start the iPad opening song and dance: Heat, Pry, Peek, Repeat.

  • Based on early reports, we're expecting this device to be more Air 1 than 2—and this right here is why. The LCD and digitizer are unfused, and can be replaced separately. This is great news for repair.

  • Testing our newfound freedom, we take a second to swap in the digitizer and LCD from an Air 1. The connectors fit! We'll do some tests at a later date to let you know if they actually work...

  • We needle a Battery Isolation Pick betwixt the battery contacts and logic board to prevent any... mishaps, stopping those electrons in their tracks traces.

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Image 1/3: NXP 8461A1—also visible as a 5x4 ball grid array hiding under the speaker in this sweet X-ray image. Image 2/3: Thumbs up for fingerprint reading. Thumbs down for a harder repair, since the sensor is uniquely paired to its logic board at the factory. Image 3/3: At least this lovely button is still a button (unlike the solid-state un-button that debuted on 7-series iPhones). Peep that switch under the Lightning port traces.
  • Flipping the digitizer on its back reveals the most significant change thus far from the lookalike iPad Air: the addition of Touch ID, and its associated hardware.

    • NXP 8461A1—also visible as a 5x4 ball grid array hiding under the speaker in this sweet X-ray image.

    • Thumbs up for fingerprint reading. Thumbs down for a harder repair, since the sensor is uniquely paired to its logic board at the factory.

  • At least this lovely button is still a button (unlike the solid-state un-button that debuted on 7-series iPhones). Peep that switch under the Lightning port traces.

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Image 1/2: [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad+Air+LTE+Teardown/18907#s53568|LG|new_window=true], are you okay? Image 2/2: Front and center on the display PCB, we find a Parade [https://www.chipworks.com/ko/node/120|DP655|new_window=true]—the same LCD timing controller found on the Air 1 display.
  • Moving on to the display, we don't spy any convenient manufacturer marks this time around.

    • LG, are you okay?

  • Front and center on the display PCB, we find a Parade DP655—the same LCD timing controller found on the Air 1 display.

  • In Apple's press release announcing the iPad 5, they told us it comes equipped with a "brighter 9.7-inch Retina display."

    • Our question is: brighter than what? It doesn't look that different from the Air 1's display. If they mean brighter than the Air 2, then that may simply be due to reverting to the unfused display design of the Air 1.

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Image 1/3: Here the Air 1 is dressed in Space Grey, and has a slightly larger Wi-Fi module. Image 2/3: The iPad 5 is in silver, and... has less tape? I mean, they're pretty identical. Image 3/3: ''Editor's note: It's actually all the same tape, just in neater lines. Sorry it went back on a little wrinkly after making [https://www.ifixit.com/Device/iPad_Air_Wi-Fi|guides on that Air 1|new_window=true]—guides that'll also help you fix your new iPad 5.''
  • So remember how we said this was similar to the first Air? We were serious—take a look at the Air 1 and iPad 5 respectively. Not much has changed.

  • Here the Air 1 is dressed in Space Grey, and has a slightly larger Wi-Fi module.

  • The iPad 5 is in silver, and... has less tape? I mean, they're pretty identical.

    • Editor's note: It's actually all the same tape, just in neater lines. Sorry it went back on a little wrinkly after making guides on that Air 1—guides that'll also help you fix your new iPad 5.

  • They both pack the same 32.9 Wh battery, beating the 27.6 Wh iPad Air 2 and the 27.9 Wh iPad Pro 9.7" (all of which are outpaced by the Surface Pro 4's 38.2 Wh reservoir).

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Image 1/1: Apple A9 [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_A9|APL0898|new_window=true] SoC + Samsung K3RG1G10BM-BGCH 2 GB LPDDR4 RAM (as seen in the [https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+6s+Teardown/48170#s107880|iPhone 6s|new_window=true])
  • Time to scout out some silicon! The backside of this board is devoid of chips, so we'll save our glue-fighting powers for another day. Meanwhile, here's what's floating around topside:

    • Apple A9 APL0898 SoC + Samsung K3RG1G10BM-BGCH 2 GB LPDDR4 RAM (as seen in the iPhone 6s)

    • SK Hynix H23QEG8VG2ACR 32 GB NAND flash storage

    • 2x Broadcom BCM5976 touch controllers—as seen in iPhones 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6 Plus, SE, as well as trackpads in MacBooks, MacBook Airs and Pros, and the last two generations of iPads

    • Apple 343S001441-A0 and 338S1213

    • NXP 67V04 NFC Controller as seen in the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2

    • NXP 610A38 USB charging IC, as seen in the iPhone 7

    • Apple/USI 339S0038 Wi-Fi module

So what's the dac chip is it cirrus logic too

Roice Tiamzon - Reply

Image 1/2: We owe a huge shoutout to [http://www.creativeelectron.com/|new_window=true|Creative Electron] who hosted us and fed us pizza and caffeine. Image 2/2: And provided these sweet X-ray images.
  • And that's a wrap!

  • We owe a huge shoutout to Creative Electron who hosted us and fed us pizza and caffeine.

    • And provided these sweet X-ray images.

    • And trusted us with their shiny new iPad...

  • Update: For a full list of part compatibility between the iPad 5 and the iPad Air 1, refer to our compatibility testing blog post.

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Final Thoughts
  • The LCD is easy to remove once the front panel is separated from the iPad.
  • The battery is not soldered to the logic board. We'll give it that.
  • Just like in previous iPads, the front panel is glued to the rest of the device, greatly increasing the chances of cracking the glass during a repair.
  • Gobs of adhesive hold everything in place. As with its Air 1 predecessor, this ranks among the most difficult battery removal procedures we've seen in an iPad.
  • The LCD has foam sticky tape adhering it to the front panel, increasing chances of it being shattered during disassembly.
  • You can't access the front panel's connector until you remove the LCD.
Repairability Score
2
Repairability 2 out of 10
(10 is easiest to repair)

33 Comments

Digitizer or LCD compatible between the two?

Ryan Galvan - Reply

Digi and LCD compatible with the air 1?

jared - Reply

Do all the controls and cutouts (volume buttons, power, microphone holes, speaker holes, etc.) align in the same locations as the iPad Air? I'm hoping to be able to use my old leather smart case (which is no longer manufactured) for this iPad if I decide to buy it.

Zorin the Lynx - Reply

I'm going to guess that the Air 1 digi won't fit due to the touch ID button being bigger than the regular home button.

Brian - Reply

It's same since I compare with the air 2 home bottom

リセイシン -

Does the Air 1 digitizers work on this one ?

letsmod - Reply

I don't think so since he change from home button to TouchID, the size always are different...

Robert G -

The Good, you can transfer the TouchID to a new touchscreen, if you damage it.

Robert G -

Nevermind. :-)

ericwelch - Reply

1 or 2 gb RAM?

Loran - Reply

The iPad 5 has 2GB of ram, like the Air 2. The Air has 1GB.

James Michnya -

How many gigabytes RAM?

Loran - Reply

What wifi module is as always unknown.

Stiv Vert - Reply

What about the cases for this new iPad 9.7? Do the cases for iPad Air 1 fit it? For people buying this thing it's a really useful question!!!

vitaferra - Reply

Most other sites citing iFixit's findings are misinterpreting them as implying that the new iPad is the same as the iPad Air, while ignoring the fact that it has the A9 chip instead of the A7, which is a huge difference.

iFixit's comments come from the point of view of disassembling and repairing the product, not from a performance or value perspective.

R Sriceso - Reply

To my knowledge this iPad is replacing the iPad Air 2 which has an A8X, not A7.

Martin Bergstrom -

I don't understand, why it only achieved a 2/10. In my opinion, the device should be a 5 or 6.

I repaired dozens of iPad Air 1 an i never had the feel that i could damage anything while removing the front glass / digitizer. Of course, it will take some time and lots of patience, but if you are working clean and carefully, there is not much of a chance for damaged parts.

Also i doesn't care about a non destructive battery removal. If i'm in need do remove the battery, then because i'm about to replace it. It doesn't matter, if the old battery will be damaged in this process.

To be honest. The batteries lasts very long. I have an iPad 4 and an iPad Air 1 by myself from almost day one. They will be used on a daily basis and their batteries are still very fine. The same for my "customer's" iPads. Roughly 9 out of 10 iPad repairs i did, are screen or digitizer replacements, sometimes a camera or the Lightning port is broken, but i never had an iPad with a dead battery on my desk.

Michael Slomma - Reply

Try working in education, you'll have lots of battery replacements on your desk. Kids use iPads for a class period then they all get put back on the chargers. These iPads are supposed to last 5 years but the battery is dead within one. Battery consumption is not covered under Apple's 1 year warranty and school districts cant afford Apple Care.

benjaminvikse - Reply

april fools???

thenewtrace - Reply

This model's digitizer and LCD will work on the Air 1.. but not the other way around.

Matt M - Reply

It was an awesome tear down! I have a question. The only reason I'm hesitating buying this is cuz it doesn't have the laminated screen can it be replaced with iPad air 2 screen?

Tony Moon - Reply

Air 2 wouldn't work because of the fused glass and LCD together. vs them being independent in this model and the Air 1

Matt M -

Who makes the gyroscope here?

T.C. - Reply

Guys, great post super helpful! Any idea who made the gyroscope in this one?

Jason Day - Reply

Jason, we found some more info on the gyro, but we're not 100% on who makes it. Let me know now to reach you if you want to discuss.

T.C. -

Hi T.C. -- feel free to email me at jayday6564@gmail.com; we can set up a time to chat if you'd like.

Jason Day - Reply

It this iPad affected by the a9 chipgate as well? Samsung vs TSMC

Yongbin Guan - Reply

I want to know if the LCD and digitizer are compatible for each other.My new ipad was filled with water and I would like to change it with the LCD of iPad Air 1.

luowenxing - Reply

Can confirm the screen is brighter than the Air 1, if a touch warmer.

Sean Hearrell - Reply

Touch ID is gen1 or gen2?

anonymous 1774 - Reply

Is the dac cirrus logic if not I'm not buying that

Roice Tiamzon - Reply

Hello,

I just bought my Ipad 5 last week for my LLB course.

On the first day(night class) of my Ipad 5, the screen already retired.

I was listening to my professor intently with my Ipad on my left lap and my arm resting, and another instance was my Ipad 5 on top of the armchair and my resting on it. When the class finished, My Ipad screen adjacent to the front camera is already cracked/shattered extending to the home button.

Btw, my Ipad 5 is covered by Urbam Arm Gear casing (Ipad 5 edition). It passed the drop testing and all of their tests.

However, My Ipad 5 screen display broke when I was resting my arm on it which is comfortable and who doesn't rest their arm on an Ipad?

Is this covered by the warranty? I mean it wasn't accidental, I was doing my daily routine with no "accidental" damages.

The IPAD 5 is good, and I bought because it was cheaper and more practical for my course. With my Ipad retiring on its first day, I shouldve bought the Apple pro since the price of repairing is absurd.

Paolo Suelto - Reply

Feeling all rightMe have bad, after all the advances in technology also in that hardware update

ms li - Reply

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